tv Early Start CNN September 3, 2012 5:00am-7:00am EDT
>> the worst part is the waiting, get out there and get ready and wait, and we'll be right to you. we're coming to you next. oh, no, somebody first. oh, we just lost a shot. we'll be right to you. yeah, that's the waiting, but other than that, there's no better place to be. >> i can tell you, the men and women we work with in the field in these hurricanes and tropical storms are the best in the world at what they do. i'm gary tuchman at the cnn world headquarters in atlanta, georgia. have a good night and a great have a good night and a great weekend. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com breaking news, a deadly explosion near an american consulate in pakistan. at least two americans injured. the stage is set in charlotte, delegates in town for this week's democratic national convention. good morning, and welcome to "early start," everyone. i'm john berman live at the cnn grill in charlotte for the democratic convention. we will have more from here in just a few minutes.
>> we're looking forward to that, john. i'm zoraida sambolin back here in new york. it's 5:00 a.m. in the east. we have breaking news in pakistan, where a suicide bomber riding in a car filled with explosives hit a u.s. consulate vehicle. it happened in the pashawar, about 100 miles from islamabad. they say two american staffers and two pakistani employees inside the vehicle were injured and are receiving medical treatment, but a pakistani information minister showed reporters the passport of an american he believed to be dead. we are following all of these developments and we'll bring you any updates as soon as they come in. john? meanwhile, here in charlotte, democrats have carolina on their minds. the democratic faithful gathering here for their convention, which kicks off for the labor day celebration downtown today. now, the actual convention business gets started tomorrow
with first lady michelle obama the headliner and the keynote address from san antonio mayor julio castro. this week, democrats will try to highlight what they consider president obama's first-term successes, but there is this nagging question they're struggling to answer -- are you better off today than you were four years ago? cnn's dana bash joins me right now. seems like just yesterday we were on the floor of the republican convention in tampa. >> it does. wasn't it yesterday? speaking of yesterday, let's go back many yesterdays ago to four years ago, and that is really what, as you mentioned, the republicans have been pressing for democrats, and it is the key question for democrats to answer -- are you better off? obama officials have been kind of -- it's been tough for them to answer the question, but one democrat who's usually pretty good at staying on message went off message a little bit, and that is martin o'malley, the governor of maryland, who also is the head of the democratic governors association. listen to what he said. >> can you honestly say that people are better off today than they were four years ago?
>> no, but that's not the question of this election. the question, without a doubt, we are not as well off as we were before george bush brought us the bush job losses, the bush recession, the bush deficits, the series of desert wars, charged for the first time to credit card, the national credit card. >> yeah, but. >> so, most of that answer was on message, talking about the fact that it's president bush's problem, but that first answer, no -- >> no, but doesn't help. >> yeah, but let's look at the real numbers, break it down and look at where we are now versus four years ago. let's start with job growth, the number one issue, of course, jobs. in january of 2009, remember, the economy was in horrible, horrible shape. it lost 818,000 jobs. this summer, july 2012, it was up 163,000, not great, but certainly, obviously, a lot better than bleeding jobs when the president took over. the unemployment rate when the president was inaugurated, 7.8%.
it's up and down. now it's 8.2%, still not great. economic growth, another key indicator. january 2009, it was down 5.3%, and the economy really has been very slow to recover. it still is only up 1.5%, and this is another key one. the last we'll talk about is home prices, because that really does indicate how people feel about the economy. the median home price was $175,500 in january of 2009. now it's only $185,000. so, things are technically better, except for the unemployment rate, but better from a very, very bad point. >> and that's why it's such a potent issue for republicans, because for the democrats to answer, they answer yes, but, and the but is what voters i think are more concerned about. it's not as good as they want it to be. what are republicans doing today? i know they'll be talking about this everywhere they possibly can. >> everywhere they possibly can, jumping on martin o'malley's "no," those two letters, no, big
time. and they have a pretty good spokesman, they think, for the economy, coming right here to north carolina, paul ryan. he is going to be speaking about this issue, really jumping on it. then they're going to set up this war room. they're calling it the "obama isn't working" war room. they have a website to match and they're going to hit over and over the idea that the economy, not just the economy is not better, but that middle class americans, middle class voters, simply they're not feeling it, they're feeling worse, not better. >> so, even paul ryan coming to north carolina, where all the action is today, dana bash. thanks. we're glad you're here with us all week. >> thanks for having me. >> the best thing ever. coming up, we will talk to richard socarides and amy creamer and then "obama revealed" premieres tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern time on cnn. you don't want to miss it. it's outstanding. meantime, zoraida, let's go back
to you in new york. >> thank you very much, john. it is five minutes past the hour. someone hauled away the vice president's u-haul. joe biden is in detroit today and he'll be going ahead with today's plans to speak at a labor day rally, even though someone stole his u-haul overnight right from a weston hotel. the u-haul was filled with equipment for today's events, although the vp's spokesman won't specify exactly what was taken. something similar happened to president obama last october. a truck carrying $200,000 worth of podiums, audio equipment and presidential seals for a three-day presidential bus tour was stolen. that was in virginia. new york's attorney general investigating whether private equity firms improperly used loopholes to avoid paying taxes. among about a dozen firms that were subpoenaed in july, bain capital. mitt romney's lawyer issued a statement denying romney's involvement in the tax strategy. new york's attorney general is also the co-chair of a mortgage fraud task force appointed by
president obama. and the u.s. has temporarily suspended all training of afghan police recruits. that will give our special operations forces time to double-check the backgrounds of current afghan police. there's been a dramatic rise in the number of attacks on nato troops this year with more than 40 reportedly killed either by members of the afghan security forces or by insurgents disguised as afghan police. of course, the training of afghan forces critical to the u.s. plan of getting out of afghanistan by the end of 2014, as you very well know. the reverend sun myung moon has died. he founded the unification church known for mass weddings, in which worldwide followers known as moonies, married simultaneously. moon's detractors called him a cult leader, accusing him of brain-washing and duping people out of their money. he served time in an american federal prison for tax evasion in the mid-1980s. the reverend moon was 92 years old.
and a fast-growing wildfire in southern california's san gabriel mountains forces 1,500 people to evacuate. take a look at how big that fire is. 200 firefighters are fighting the fire from the ground and by air. more than 3,600 acres have burned so far. the fire, we understand, is about 5% contained. a lot of those that were evacuated were campers. and nearly a week after hurricane isaac slammed into the gulf coast, there are still new threats this morning. they're posed by rain-swollen rivers and by lakes. we're going to have a live report from inside the damage zone in new orleans. that is headed your way next. mornings are a special time for the two of you... and now you can make them even more special... with new fancy feast mornings. mornings are delicious protein rich entrées... with garden veggies and egg. each one perfectly designed... to start her day with a little love. new fancy feast mornings gourmet cat food.
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flood-damaged parts of louisiana as initial inspections reportedly show new orleans' levees and pumps held up as advertised, as paid for. george howell is following all of the developments in new orleans. george, what's the latest there? how are the power outages doing? >> reporter: zoraida, good morning. well, you see the gno bridge behind me, the lights on there, a sign that things are slowly returning to normal here in the city of new orleans, but i can tell you, the utility entergy is reporting that at least 129,000 people are still without power. that is still a great source of frustration for many people, but you do find these utility trucks going from neighborhood to neighborhood trying to restore power. also want to talk about what's happening across lake pontchartrain in st. tammany parish. that's where many homes, at least two subdivisions, are still under threat of flooding. we're talking about this pearl river. it's that floodwater coming down from hurricane isaac, from the remnants of the storm, but also,
there is a navigational canal that runs nearby that feeds into those rivers. there were two locks there that seemed like they might fail just a few days ago, but officials seem more confident that those will hold up. and zoraida, finally, in plaquemines parish, nearby plaquemines parish, residents are starting to return to their homes, but they're finding many of those homes under water still. we're talking about that storm surge, 7 to 14 feet of water that came rushing in. they're pumping much of that out. hefz also breached several levees and we've seen federal officials, government officials come to say, you know, they are here to do all they can to help residents recover. take a listen. >> we will stay until this recovery is complete. we are here to be part of the team, part of the team in louisiana, and make sure that hurricane isaac is put to rest as soon as we can for all of those affected.
>> reporter: and zoraida, you know, we know that the search-and-rescue operation continues, especially there in plaquemines parish. you find that floodwater is still a problem, people are still going -- rather, officials are still going from different homes to make sure people are okay, but we know that this storm was a deadly storm. at least four people killed from it. >> and george, we understand the president is headed to the area today? >> reporter: president obama will be here later today. he should arrive around 4:00 p.m. to st. john the baptist parish, and that's where he will start to tour this area. and what he'll see, you know, a lot of areas still without power. you do find some neighborhoods that are flooded and residents just hoping to get back to normal as soon as possible. >> all right, george howell live for us, thank you very much for that. it is now 14 minutes past the hour. let's get you up to date. here's christine romans with our top stories. good morning. breaking news to tell you about from pakistan. a suicide bomber riding in a car filled with explosives hits a
u.s. consulate vehicle in pakistan. this happening in pashawar in northwestern pakistan. the state department saying two american staffers and two pakistani employees inside the vehicle were injured and they are receiving medical treatment right now, but a pakistani information minister showed reporters the passport of an american he believed to be dead. we're following developments. we're going to bring you any new information as it comes in for us. democrats stepping into the convention spotlight this week. convention week kicks off today with a carolina fest in downtown charlotte, a big labor day celebration that includes a parade and a concert by james taylor. the party officially gets down to business tomorrow with first lady michelle obama the prime time headliner. a fraternity pledge dies after a night of drinking. now, fresno state university and the national organization that oversees the theta chi fraternity has suspended the chapter. fresno police and the university are investigating what happened to 18-year-old philip danes.
he had accepted an invitation to join theta chi just last week. the u.s. likely to stay out. american and foreign officials tell "the washington post" the u.s. isn't likely to intervene in syria's civil war in the lead-up to november's presidential election or even months after it. unicef reports last week was the deadliest week yet in syria's civil war with at least 1,600 people killed. an opposition network says yesterday alone 144 people died, just yesterday, in the violence throughout the country. terrifying moments for spectators at a monster truck show in eugene, oregon, this weekend. video shows the driver losing control of the oversized pickup after hitting a mud pit, crashing into the panicked crowd. police say three people suffered injuries. amazingly, none life-threatening. an indiana woman didn't know what to do when a national guard black hawk helicopter landed in her backyard! nikki schultz said men in fatigues emerged from the chopper carrying guns.
the national guard says the chopper had been searching for marijuana plants and found some right next to schultz's property. john berman picks it up from here. hi, john. >> that's like -- >> crazy. >> like "red dawn," you get your house invaded by the military. what's going on? there's a helicopter in my backyard! meanwhi meanwhile, we are getting an early look at what's making headlines in your national papers, starting with the hometown paper in charlotte, north carolina, "the charlotte observer." hundreds of occupy protesters descending on the city with their signs ahead of the democratic national convention. this city is home to bank of america's headquarters and nine fortune 500 companies. police arrested two protesters after some were spotted with rocks in their hands, and two people were treated after struggling with the heat and humidity. the protests weren't so bad in tampa, not really certain whether they'll disrupt things here, but so far, not that disruptive, zoraida. >> no. i know they said they were expecting a lot more people than actually showed up, so we'll wait and see. how's the weather today for them? >> you know, it's cool, and it's not even light out yet.
so, so far, so good, i would say. >> okay. so, i have "the arizona republic" here. the bandit who apparently couldn't get busted. an alleged serial bank robber is in custody this morning after trying to get arrested and failing several times. police in tucson say 49-year-old william david leverett was persuaded by his girlfriend to turn himself in to police after she saw surveillance photos on television, but they drove to a police station. no one was there! so, they drove to another police station. they didn't find anyone there, either. so, finally, they just went right to jail, where he was taken into custody. authorities believe he is the same guy that the fbi dubbed "smokey the bandit," suspected in robbing six banks in both the phoenix and tucson area. imagine that, trying to turn yourself in and finding no one at two police stations. >> i know, please, please arrest me. will someone please arrest me? >> i think that was the ex-girlfriend, actually. i said girlfriend there. so, anyway, interesting story
for you. >> yeah, after that. all right, for an expanded look at our stories, head to our blog, cnn.com/earlystart. all right, here in charlotte and around the country, the main question republicans are asking right now is this -- are you better off today than you were four years ago? well, our christine romans has some answers about jobs and the economy. that's coming up. you're watching "early start." why not take a day to explore your own backyard? with two times the points on travel, you may find yourself asking why not, a lot. chase sapphire preferred. there's more to enjoy. the wheels of progress haven't been very active lately. but because of business people like you,
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welcome back. it is 22 minutes past the hour. we are minding your business this morning. you know that big question that came out at the rnc, are you better off now than four years ago? with the economy ranking the top issue among voters, christine romans is looking back at the economic indicators for us to see what they actually show. christine? >> good morning, zoraida. you know, framing the election around, the republicans are trying to frame this election around this question, are you better off. they're also trying to talk a lot about debt. the president may have averted a great depression, they say, but he did so really racking up the nation's credit card. let's take a look at the facts about unemployment. this is the unemployment rate. when the president took office, it was 7.8%, now stands at 8.3%. so, the unemployment rate is a little bit worse and the jobs situation, when you look at the unemployment rate, has not really improved too much. but look at jobs lost and jobs gained. when the president took office, look at all of these job losses, hundreds of thousands of jobs lost, and that began under the
bush administration. and now, most recent month that we have data for, 163,000 jobs created. is that enough? of course it's not enough. it's not a robust recovery, but it is a jobs recovery. but now let's talk about debt, because you heard a lot about this two debt classes at the rnc last week. i'm guessing there will not be a debt clock at the dnc convention this week, but when the president took office, our debt was about half the size of our overall economy. why this is important is because the bigger your debt gets for the size of your economy, the less room you have to spend and invest in your economy. so, now it's at 72% of gdp. so, this on its surface looks like under this president he has racked up the nation's credit card. but take a look. this is really important. when you look at the policies that helped lead the debt to get so big, look at this. these are tax cuts that started under george bush and extended, i will say, under this president, but these are tax cuts. look at how much of our debt is because of tax cuts.
look, these are wars right here in iraq and afghanistan. that also began before he was the president. this is the economic downturn. the crisis actually really hurt the economy and helped rack up debt. and this, fannie, freddie, this little line here, this is t.a.r.p. this is the bailout kind of stuff. and this is stimulus right here, and this is the debt that we would have from all the other policies, anyway. so, it's so interesting to look that it is republican and democratic policies that led us here, but some of these are more aligned with republican policies that helped rack up that credit card, and that's why i think you're going to be hearing more from this week, zoraida, you'll be hearing a lot more about that from democrats this week. >> yeah, see how they continue to spin the argument here, right? one side versus the other. thank you, christine. >> you're welcome. >> let's head to john berman in charlotte for the democratic convention, where they'll be talking a lot about this. >> they are. and that graph was really interesting, the economics behind this question are you better off today than four years ago. when we come back, we're going
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obama as convention week begins in charlotte. welcome back to "early start," everyone. i'm john berman live at the cnn grill in charlotte for this week's democratic national convention. we will have more from here coming up in just a few minutes. >> looking forward to it, john. nice to see you. i'm zoraida sambolin back in new york. it is 29 minutes past the hour. breaking news overnight in pakistan, where a suicide bomber riding in a car filled with explosives hit a u.s. consulate vehicle. it happened in the peshawar in northwestern pakistan. the state department says two american staffers and two pakistani employees inside the vehicle were injured and they are receiving medical treatment. the pakistani information minister showed reporters the passport of an american that he believed to be dead. we are following all of the developments for you, and of course, we'll bring you any updates as they come in. john, back to you. >> thanks, zoraida. meanwhile, we're here in
charlotte with an inside look at this week's democratic national convention. they're putting some of the finishing touches on the convention center and the town as we speak. meanwhile, there is one question that democrats are being pressed to answer, and it's this -- are americans better off than they were four years ago? now, some of president obama's top advisers have flat out struggled to find a clear answer to this question, but the response that's getting the most buzz this morning came from maryland's democratic governor, martin o'malley on sunday. listen to this. >> can you honestly say that people are better off today than they were four years ago? >> no, but that's not the question of this election. the question, without a doubt, we are not as well off as we were before george bush brought us the bush job losses, the bush ecession, the bush deficits, the series of desert wars, charged for the first time to credit cards, the national credit card. >> yeah, but -- >> all right, we're joined by cnn's dana bash, back with us, and we're bringing in our guests, richard socarides,
former senior adviser to president clinton and amy cream kremer with the tea party express. there was a full day yesterday up obama advisers struggling or flat out refusing to answer the question are you better off four years ago. the only one who did answer it was martin o'malley who said no. so, let me ask you, sir, are we better off today than four years ago? >> yes. >> explain. >> well, you know, i don't think it's that complicated a question, because i think four years ago, we were headed into a great depression, the country was really struggling and headed in a much worse direction. so, i think four years into this, you know, we've made a lot of progress. we have a lot of work left to do, and i think that's perhaps why people are struggling. they don't want to sound like they're painting a rosy picture. we have a great deal of work to do, but this president has made a lot of progress. i mean, we have for the first time, we're about to have health care for every american who wants it, we've avoided a great
depression, we've made a lot of progress on the war on terror. you know, you saw rahm emanuel yesterday, right, try to sum it up in six words, like only rahm can do, mayor of chicago, former white house chief of staff. but yeah, i mean, i think most americans will vote for president obama's re-election, and they will answer that question, yes, we are better off. >> well, some of the numbers are not so much better off. we have some stats to look at. we have already seen the unemployment rate today is higher than it was four years ago, the median real wages are lower than they were four years ago, gas prices are higher today, and of course, the national debt way higher. however, amy kremer, there are also positive numbers for the president. looking at job growth, like night and day from four years ago, minus 800,000 four years ago, now plus 100,000. not great, but better. gdp growth is better, was minus 1.6%, now 1.5%, housing prices are better, so by many
measurements, things are better, aren't they? >> well, i don't think things are better -- >> the numbers are, right? >> well, the numbers don't tell the whole story. when people go to the polls in november, they'll be voting on one thing, and it's the economy. it's not government's job to create jobs. jobs should be created in the private sect yorks and under obama care, when the irs is going to, you know, have 16,000 new jobs, i mean, that's absurd! what we need to do is we need to get rid of some of these overbearing regulations, simplify our tax code and create some confidence in washington again so businesses will put their money back in their business and put people back to work! >> just on job growth numbers, you know, it's irrefutable that we are better off today than four years ago, correct? >> that number may be better, but when the median income is down $4,000 per family and when gas is double in price and goods are more? i mean, that is what people are
going to be voting on. people are not better off. families are hurting right now. >> christine, i want to bring you in in new york. is there one number you look at more than any other to judge if we're better off than four years ago? >> there's three legs to the stool that's the personal economy, right? it's your house, it's your job, it's your investment. your house is worth more today. the housing crisis -- the housing market is bottoming, right? your investments, stocks are up, you know, up over the past four years, no question, but the job is so important. john, half the jobs that have been created since the recovery, during the recovery, have been low-wage jobs. there's something happening here in the job market that defies the are you better off label, which is so simple, so right now, it's so four years. there's something happening on the jobs market that's been going on for 20 years. and so, this administration has to be so careful about trying to trumpet some of these job gains because, because what's been happening here is it's not something that happened during an election cycle that's just four years, and that's too difficult in election season, right? >> let me ask dana and richard
this. you know, should the obama team have had a better answer yesterday than they did? i mean, this is not a surprise question. there's no trick question here. don't they have to have a better answer? >> they should. no question, they should. they danced around it and tried to kind of come up with a middle ground because of exactly what christine is talking about, because the numbers on their face show that things are better. there's no question. when the president took over, we were in all-out crisis, but it doesn't answer how people feel. >> right. >> and how people feel determines how they're going to vote and that's what matters when it comes to the politics of jobs. >> richard, do you want a better answer? >> i think we've heard better answers than we heard yesterday. >> that's criticism right there. >> well, no, listen, you know, yes, they should have been more prepared for that question. i think, you know, governor o'malley was really answering a different question, and that was, you know, have we made progress? have we made enough progress? >> no, he was answering the question are you better off -- >> are you better off.
>> no, but i think what you said is absolutely correct, that they don't want to seem like they're bragging about a rosy picture because things are not rosy. we have a lot further to go. but these sound bites where you say government isn't the answer, we have to get out of this overregulation, i mean, those are nice sound bites, but the fact remains that the economy is headed in the right direction and tax cuts for the wealthy are not the answer. >> i want to give you the last word, amy, because richard just criticized what you were saying. >> look at the keystone pipeline. get out of the way, let it be built and how much jobs will be created? >> this is just the kind of thing -- the keystone pipeline is not going to solve the job crisis. >> it will create -- it's not going to solve the whole job crisis, but it will create -- >> if you ask -- >> the keystone pipeline until the 6:00 hour. >> i mean, defunding the national -- [ everyone talking at once ] -- is not going to solve the job crisis. >> got up for us this morning, i mean really got up, and cnn's
dana bash is joining us now. we are so glad you're here. we'll talk again next hour. this is going to be fun this week! so, how does president obama feel about clint eastwood's schtick at the convention? he shrugged off the stunt talking to an empty chair he said represented mr. obama, saying "one thing about being president or running for president, if you're easily offended, you should probably choose another profession." he also called eastwood a great actor and an even better director, so good words from the president. if you want to experience what it's like at the convention, with people here arguing in front of you about the keystone pipeline. tomorrow, you can join a roundtable with wolf blitzer and the political team. submit your questions and get answers realtime in a live virtual chat. don't miss the "cnn election roundtable" by logging on to cnn.com/roundtable. now, zoraida, back to you and a much calmer new york city. >> listen, i want whatever you
all are having this morning. could you send some my way, please? i would appreciate that. i love all of that. thank you very much. and the dialogue is really good. thank you. it is 38 minutes past the hour here. we have tragedy at an air show in davenport, iowa, where a plane crashed and exploded right in front of thousands of spectators. the pilot of a high-performance l-39 albatross jet trainer was killed on impact after his plane nose-dived into an alfalfa field saturday during the quad city air show. the faa and ntsb are investigating that horrific crash. a 20-year-old college student has died after plunging 45 feet from the mezzanine section during a north carolina/tennessee football game at the georgia dome. isaac grubb landed on a 34-year-old man, who miraculously, only suffered minor injuries. a witness sitting near grubb says the tennessee fan fell after his team scored a
touchdown. >> he was pounding his fist and everybody was so excited. and next thing i know, i saw like his feet just go up above his head and he just tumbled down and landed on the people below us. >> i was in shock. at first, i felt like did that just happening? like, i'm dreaming. >> grubb was pronounced dead during surgery late friday night at grady memorial hospital. investigators say grubb had been drinking before the game, but witness reports indicate that he did not purchase alcohol while he was inside the stadium. so, there is fear in part of washington state this morning. a mysterious shooter has been opening fire on cars. police are warning people, stay inside. we'll have more coming up. o expd to meet the needs of my growing business. but how am i going to fund it? and i have to find a way to manage my cash flow better. [ female announcer ] our wells fargo bankers are here to listen, offer guidance and provide you with options tailored to your business.
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it is now 74 degrees. later today it will be 85 degrees with thunderstorms. watch these thunderstorms, because remember, president obama is due to speak outside here on thursday night, the final speech of the democratic national convention. now, the president has a few more stops to make on the road to charlotte. he's going to be campaigning in ohio today. then he heads to louisiana to survey the damage from hurricane isaac. yesterday in colorado, we heard a theme the president plans to keep hammering from now until november. >> on thursday night, i'm going to offer you what i believe is a better path forward, a path that will grow this economy and create more jobs and strengthen the middle class. the typical middle class family is paying a total of about $3,600 less in taxes now than when i came into office. i kept my promise. i kept that promise. >> vice president biden will be campaigning in detroit today. he'll be appearing at a labor day rally. at a stop in pennsylvania
yesterday, mr. biden came down hard on mitt romney, accusing him of favoring confrontation over cooperation when it comes to dealing with iran and syria. >> he said it was a mistake to end the war in iraq and bring all of our warriors home. he said it was a mistake to set an end date for our warriors in afghanistan and bring them home. he implies by the speech that he's ready to go to war in syria and iran. >> the romney camp was quick to fire back, a spokesman calling biden "a politician who has been wrong about every major foreign policy question of the last 30 years." now it seems like north carolina is on everyone's mind today. james taylor will be singing here later. republicans are sending paul ryan to campaign in greenville, north carolina, about 250 miles from here. the vp candidate will be talking about jobs. and the first lady, michelle obama, heads to charlotte today. she will be speaking tomorrow night, the opening night of the
convention here. and as for north carolina, the host state of the democratic national convention, may be leaning towards mitt romney right now. take a look at a new charlotte observer poll conducted during the republican convention in tampa. mitt romney has 47% of the vote here, president obama four points back. mitt romney himself is taking a labor day break from campaigning today, but a senior campaign official is defending romney for not mentioning the troops in afghanistan during his convention speech. he spoke to cnn's candy crowley on "state of the union." >> do you think there is an oversight -- in hindsight, should he have said something? >> well, again, he spoke to afghanistan in a big speech before the american legion the night before his convention speech. that was an invitation -- >> sure, but this is a huge, big audience. >> but governor romney's convention speech was an opportunity for him to introduce himself to millions of voters who are seeing him for the first time. and in that speech, he accomplished what he set out to
do. >> democrats and even some conservatives have said romney's failure to mention the war in afghanistan was a major omission. meanwhile, there is a major campaign milestone to report for mitt romney, just days after accepting his party's nomination. he now has 1 million followers on twitter. he responded with a tweet saying "1 million active followers. thanks, everyone, for your support! help us keep the momentum going." and he added a link to a website for supporters to contribute. president obama, by the way, has 19 million twitter followers. we at "early start" have far fewer, but you can change that by follow us @earlystartcnn. do it right now. we'll beat both mitt romney and president obama, zoraida? >> oh, we have a way to go, mr. berman, for that. >> about 19 million to go. >> i know. all right, thank you very much. it is 47 minutes past the hour. the midwest is getting another dose of what is left of isaac. so is d.c. washington has been getting
hammered with really heavy rain. meteorologist alexandra steele is following isaac's leftovers from the storm. we were hopeful that the midwest would get some much-needed rain. are they going to get as much as they were expecting? >> yeah, well, they're certainly going to get more, and they've gotten a lot. warm, humid atmosphere, but washington, d.c., especially last night between about 7:00 and 10:00, streets were flooded, especially rhode island avenue. that's where we had cars under water. and there was so much flooding on the tracks that the metro stations were closed. and to give you perspective of what they saw in a short amount of time, children's hospital had two inches of rain in 20 minutes with 3.5 inches total. for perspective on a whole, washington gets 6.9 inches for the entire month of september. so, the chance for rain continues. again, it is hot, it is humid, muggy, a lot of moisture in the atmosphere for these storms to tap into. right now see it a lot quieter, so good news there. here's where all of the action
is. so, all of this moisture streaming up, ohio valley, tennessee getting into it. here's where in addition to heavy rain, the severe threat is. so, some strong, gusty winds today, hail even a possibility around birmingham. along the east coast on this labor day, the beach is looking pretty good and maybe a nice place to be because it is so hot and humid. there's the severe threat, and west coast looking great. we'll have more weather coming up in a bit. zoraida? >> alexandra, thank you very much. 49 minutes past the hour. let's get you up to date. christine romans with the top stories. we have new developments on a breaking story, breaking overnight, new details of the suicide car bombing in afghanistan that targeted an american convoy. officials say two pakistanis were killed when a car full of explosives rammed into a vehicle used by u.s. staffers. this happening in peshawar in northwestern pakistan. the state department saying two americans were injured, but a pakistani information minister showed reporters the passport of an american he believed was dead. cnn is seeking clarification
from both pakistani and u.s. authorities. right now, authorities in washington state are searching for the shooter who fired at cars and police officers in a town about 90 miles north of seattle. they're warning people to stay inside. a man was shot in the leg yesterday afternoon in the town of arlington. officers say they heard shots coming from the woods. they called in the s.w.a.t. team. when the s.w.a.t. team arrived on the scene, it, too, came under fire. two beaches were shut down this holiday weekend after a 1,600-pound great white shark washed ashore. this is in westport, massachusetts. a fisherman found the dead shark saturday morning at south shore beach. at first, he thought it was driftwood until he got a little closer. just to be on the safe side, officials shut down ten miles of beaches in new england to swimmers. the belgian grand prix got off to a messy start on saturday with a first-corner crash that ended with the championship points leader, fernando alonso, and three other drivers. that was a nasty wreck.
you know what, luckily, zoraida, no drivers were injured. video, however, terrifying. >> no kidding. when you see that, you think there must have been. that's good news. >> gosh, you know? >> a bit of a jolt there. a bit of a jolt. thank you very much. 50 minutes past the hour. ahead, go ahead, make my labor day. clint eastwood's convention skit inspires a new right wing movement, the reason you may see a few empty chairs sitting on lawns today. mornings are a special time for the two of you... and now you can make them even more special... with new fancy feast mornings. mornings are delicious protein rich entrées... with garden veggies and egg. each one perfectly designed... to start her day with a little love. new fancy feast mornings gourmet cat food. the best ingredient is love. gives you a 50% annual bonus. and everyone likes 50% more
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welcome back to "early start," everyone. i am john berman in charlotte along with zoraida sambolin, who is in new york, and we are looking at what is trending on the internet this morning. and this morning, they are calling it eastwooding, inspired by clint eastwood's interview with an empty chair during the republican national convention. there is even an official logo.
what's happening is they're asking people to leave an empty chair on their front lawns with an obama sign taped to it to send a message, in their opinions, the president isn't getting the job done. bloggers have asked for this day in recognition of that empty chair that was at the republican national convention. >> not surprised, right, that people are doing that, piggybacking off -- >> they love it. they're trying to -- but nobody's talking about the clint eastwood movies of the '70s. we're losing the focus any way you can. i'll try to bring the focus back in the coming days. listen, we are proving that you can't buy taste. forbes ranked this large home on long island, new york, the ugliest mansion in america. it's on the market right now, john, for close to $6 million. interested? the 8,700-square-foot home was built in 1984 with a suite bar. it looks more like a cruise ship
inside, but "forbes" was tougher on the outside, saying the oversized portigo and oversized garage made it look like a hotel or even a gas station. >> yeah, i don't know what it looks like. it's just -- >> it's big. >> yeah, big. and $6 million. i'll give you 10 bucks for it we'll call it even. >> ooh, yeah. i don't think they'll take it. all right, coming up here from charlotte, the countdown to the democratic convention and a bit of a message mix-up heading into the festivities. this is the question -- are we better off than we were four years ago? it really depends who you ask around here. we had a brawl on it a few minutes ago. we'll try to answer that question when our live coverage from charlotte continues, next. at usaa, we believe honor is not
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-- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com breaking news. a deadly explosion near an american consulate in pakistan. at least two americans injured. new details on the death toll this hour. the stage is set in charlotte. delegates in town for this week's democratic national convention. good morning and welcome to convention. welcome to "early start." i'm john berman live at the cnn grill in charlotte for the democratic convention. we'll have more from here in a few minutes zwr we're looking forward to that. i'm zoraida sambolin. it is 6:00 a.m. in the east. >> we begin with breaking news in pakistan where a suicide bomber riding in a car filled with explosives hit a u.s. consulate. take a look at the map there. a pakistani police source is
saying two pakistanis were killed in that explosion. 25 others were injured at the scene. the state department says two american staffers were injured. we're going to continue to follow all of the developments and we'll bring you any updates as soon as they come in. john? >> thanks, zoraida. here in charlotte, the democrats are gearing up for their critical convention week. it's their chance to show the nation why they think president obama deserve four more years. a major problem facing the party heading into the convention is this question. are americans better off today than they were four years ago? i'm joined by my friend dana bash. it's a question the democrats have had a hard time answering the last couple of days? >> they have. all you have to do is watch two of the president's top campaign advisers, david plouffe and david axe elrod.
they didn't really have an answer. one had an answer but for the campaign it wasn't the right answer, it was no. >> can you honestly say that people are better off today than they were four years ago? >> no, but that's not the question of this election. the question, without a doubt we are not as well off as we were before george bush brought us the bush job losses and deficits and series of desert wars charged for the first time to the national credit card. >> republicans are jumping on it saying we are not better off than to years ago. let's look at job growth, the number one thing out there. when the president took office we were bleeding jobs. 818,000. it went up to over 100,000 but not as good as it should be. the unemployment rate is where things have gotten worse.
when he started it was 7.8, now 8.2 which is not good. the economic growth has gotten better. it was terrible down 5.3% gdp and home prices, which is one of the key aspects of how people feel about the economy, the median home prides, 175,500 but when he took office 178,000. the data doesn't speak to emotions people have. >> it's not so good people feel they are better off which is why it is an important issue for republicans. michelle obama speaks tomorrow night and someone not well known. >> julian castro, and this is a
chance for democrats first of all to highlight hispanic american, which is always a plus for them to highlight diversity, especially the fastest ethnic growing population in the country. but also to highlight a city mayor, which if you look across the country, democrats really rule on cities, probably makes sense because democrats tend to be in urban areas. it allows democrats to show they have new faces and could set the stage for some potential rock -- >> 37 years old. young man, young age of 38 and an identical twin. >> i didn't know that. >> it's good for all of us, twin families everywhere. we're going to talk to brad woodhouse about what to expect in the week ahead here in charlotte. we'll ask if we're better off than four years ago.
tonight, don't miss this, the premiere of the documentary "obama revealed", the man the president. it is very good. tonight at 8:00 and 11:00 p.m. eastern. don't miss it. back to you in new york. >> thank you very much. it looks like the vice president's u-haul has been hijacked. joe biden will go ahead with today's plans to speak at the labor day rally, even though someone stole his uhaul overnight. it was filled with equipment for today's events and although the vp spokesman won't specify exactly what was taken. something similar happened to president obama last october. a truck carrying $200,000 worth of podiums, audio equipment and presidential seals for a three-day presidential bus tour was stolen in virginia that time. new york's attorney general investigating whether private equity firms losed loopholes to
avoid paying taxes. a dozen firms investigated in july, bain capital. new york's attorney general is also the co-chair of a mortgage fraud task force appointed by president obama. and training of afghan police recruits has been suspended by the united states temporarily. the move is designed to give our special forces time to double check the backgrounds of current afghan police. there's been a troubling rise on the number of attacks on nato troops. more than 40 killed by members of the afghan security forces or insurgents disguised as police. sun myung moon has died. moon's detractors called him a cult leader accusing him of brain washing and duping people out of money.
he served in r time in prison in the united states for tax evasion. the reverend moon was 92 years old. look at this. terrifying moments for spectators at a monster truck show in eugene, oregon, this weekend. video shows the driver losing control of the oversized pickup after hitting a mud pick crashing into the panicked crowd. three people suffered injuries. amazingly though none are life threatening. nearly a week after hurricane isaac slammed into the gulf coast there are new threats this morning posed by rain, swoelen rivers and lakes. we'll have a live report from inside the damaged zone in new orleans coming up next. upbeat ] [ dog ] we found it together. on a walk, walk, walk. love to walk. yeah, we found that wonderful thing. and you smiled. and threw it. and i decided i would never, ever leave it anywhere.
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so far isaac has side stepped the plain states hit hardest by the drought. president obama will tour flood-damaged parts of louisiana as initial inspections show new orleans levees and pumps held up as advertised and paid for. george howell is following developments. they have sweltering conditions and still a lot of people without power. >> reporter: good morning, that is a source of frustration, from last check of the utility, 29,000 people still without power. you do see utility trucks going neighborhood to neighborhood trying to restore power but it will take some time. even read in a newspaper article it could take several days before that happens. but i want to also take you across lake pontchartrain into st. tammany parish. we will see more flooding today
along the west pearl river. there's concern about at least 3 feet more of water coming into homes. also, a lot of attention focused on this navigational canal that feeds into the river system. there were two locks there that officials feared could fail. but today they feel more confident that those locks will hold up and keep the water back. also, in nearby plaquemines parish, we visited that area the other day. we see residents returning to their homes. when they do, they find many neighborhoods still under water. officials are doing their best to pump the water out and breaching levees in several places to try to get the water out as quickly as possible. again, zoraida, that could take up to a week before those neighborhoods are dry. we're hearing from government officials as well. homeland security secretary
napolitano said government officials are on the ground and doing everything they can to help people get back to normal. >> we will stay until this recovery is complete. we are here to be part of the team, part of the team in louisiana and make sure that hurricane isaac is put to rest as soon as we can for all of those affected. >> zoraida, things are returning back to normal. i don't know if you hear the pats. it threw me off. the bats are out and things are back to normal slowly but surely. >> it looks well lit behind you as well. she used the word recovery efforts, are we done with recovery efforts in plaquemines, i think five deaths total so far including mississippi and louisiana. >> reporter: you know, this is going to take at least a week and maybe more before we see many of these residents who lost
power have the power restored. that's the first thing. then secondly where you find the neighborhoods that took on floodwater especially there in plaquemines parish, it could take well over a week before people can finally go back in the homes and start to clean out from the damage, the debris from that situation, and then get back to normal. >> all right, george howell, live in new orleans, thank you very much. it is 13 minutes past the hour. here's christine romans with this morning's top storieses. updating you on the breaking news we've been telling you about. a suicide bomber riding in a car filled with explosives hits a u.s. consulate vehicle in pakistan. it happened in peshawar, a pakistani police force is saying two pakistanis were killed in this explosion. 25 others were injured at the scene. the state department says two american staffers were injured. we're following development and will have a live report with state department reaction just
ahead. charlotte is all dressed up for the democrats, convention business officially begins tomorrow. michelle obama and julian castro will be the featured speaker, with castro delivering the key note address. a fraternity pledge dies after a night of drinking. now fresno state university and the state that oversees the fraternity have suspended the chapter. they are investigating what happened to 18-year-old phillip danz, he accepted an invitation last week. the u.s. likely to stay out. american and foreign officials tell the "washington post," the u.s. isn't likely to intervene in syria's civil war in the lead up to november's presidential election even months after it. they report last week was the deadliest yet with 1600 people killed. opposition network says yesterday alone, 144 people died in violence throughout syria.
a fast growing wildfire in southern california san rel mountains, more than 3600 acres have burned and this fire is about 5% contained. >> terrible pictures there. it is 15 minutes past the hour. by now you heard about sustainable farming on land but chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta talked to one man who is farming sustainably in the deep sea. he say it may be the key to feeding a booming population. >> the next 50 years, we need more produced than the last years combined. we're pushing the limits on land and seeing food shortages in some parts of the world. we need to pick up the pace and
take it to the next leveloff shore and open up new frontiers for farming. check out more of brian o'hanlon's interview on "the next list." next sunday at 2:00 p.m. on cnn. republicans are asking the question, are you better off now than you were four years ago? christine romans tells us whether that is true in terms of jobs and the economy. that is coming up next. we're sitting on a bunch of shale gas. there's natural gas under my town. it's a game changer. ♪ it means cleaner, cheaper american-made energy. but we've got to be careful how we get it. design the wells to be safe. thousands of jobs. use the most advanced technology to protect our water. billions in the economy. at chevron, if we can't do it right, we won't do it at all. we've got to think long term. we've got to think long term.
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welcome back to "early start." the rnc asked the question, are you better off now than four years ago. christine romans is looking back at the economic indicators for us to see what they show. i know you threw in housing this time as well. >> housing has been improving but let's start with jobs first. this is the big one. jobs, it's the engine of your personal economy. with the president took office it was 7.8%. look at where it went. this went up to 10%, it was really ugly in the early days of the financial crisis but it has improved, 8.3%. when you're in election season, zoraida, it depends on how you look at it. it is improved from here but certainly this number is much better. this is the jobs growth. we were losing 800,000 jobs a month when the president took office and now the most recent month we gained ed 163,000.
i will point out half of the jobs created in the recovery have been low wage jobs. we have a structural issue that will take the next president and next president to try to figure out how to fix that. these are home prices. i put this in as well, the median home price was $175,000 early 2009. there was a big crash in home prices and we called it a double dip now it has come back a bit. $185,000. you're hearing about debt on the campaign trail, at the rnc the republicans two debt clocks, remember at their convention. they are talking about almost $6 trillion of debt added underneath this president. while that's true, it's really important to look at what the debt is from. these are the bush era tax cuts right here. look how much those tax cuts here are adding to our debt. take a look at this. this is wars in iraq and afghanistan, how much that added to our debt. the economic crisis, that's how
much of our debt is huge. it's too much, right. but that's what is causing it. this right here is the bailout, this little thing here and this right here are some other recovery stimulus kind of measures. that's what caused this debt. democrats and republicans together running up that debt. so i doubt you'll siee a debt clock they are not so laser focused on the debt like the republicans are. >> what's the one thing you need to know? >> stock markets are closed for the holiday but the s&p 500 is up more than 10% this year. this is a perfect time to check how your 401(k) is balanced and make sure it's appropriate for age and risk. on twitter, i'll put out for a link to a quiz to figure out risk. >> everybody should go to christine -- >> when the market is closed, it's a perfect time to look at it passionately. >> thank you, christine.
we're going to head back to john berman, live in charlotte. good morning to you. >> good morning, zoraida. i'm in the cnn grill where cnn will be head quartering its coverage for most of this week in charlotte. we are the first broadcast to go live from the fantastic restaurant. it is the place to be here. coming up, we'll ask democrats this, they had 24 hours to come up with an answer to this question. do they have a better answer than they had yesterday? come back, you're watching "early start." ♪ ♪ i can do anything ♪ i can do anything today ♪ i can go anywhere ♪ i can go anywhere today
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suicide blast targeting americans in pakistan. the ghost of reagan. in 2012 democrats struggling to answer this question. >> are you better off than you were four years ago? >> some message trouble for team obama as convention week begins this week in charlotte. i'm john berman live at the cnn grill in charlotte. we'll have more in just a few minutes. >> looking forward to it. it is 28 minutes past the hour. >> we begin with breaking news, a suicide car bombing in peshawar pakistan, a car loaded with explosives hit a vehicle used by the u.s. consulate there. we are being told two pakistanis were killed. foreign affairs jill dougherty
is here. i know the information is flowing in. what do you know now? >> at this point from the state department we know there were two u.s. personnel and two pakistani employees who were injured in that attack. they are saying no personnel from the consulate were killed. now the other information about the two pakistanis is coming from the local police. they say the two pakistanis were killed, not clear exactly who they were. this -- it could have killed bystanders if indeed that's what happened. and the 25 were injured. zoraida, you know it's not uncommon right after something like this to have some confusion. in fact, there was some confusion among the local authorities on whether or not an american had been killed. but the whole idea of it the more disturbing thing. this is an area that has seen a lot of similar attacks over quite a period. and what's going on right now in
this area around peshawar is that the pakistani forces are taking the fight to some of these islamic militants. it was quite a major attack. we understand that the vehicle, the suicide vehicle, had about 242 pounds of explosives and it cut in front of this. there were apparently three according to local officials, three vehicles in the convoy. two from the consulate, one a police vehicle. this vehicle came in front. the suicide car, and essentially really did major damage to that first car. >> we're taking a look at the pictures. they are incredible. you mentioned confusion earlier. and there were reports actually we have them, that somebody was sharing an american passport and saying that that person was among those dead and that is not true? >> as far as we know it is not. we checked with state department and they are definitely saying two americans injured, two pakistani employees of the
consulate injured. but they also said they were looking into reports of perhaps pakistanis locally who might have been injured or killed. but again, it is not uncommon in the confusion for something like that to come out. >> foreign affairs correspondent jill dougherty, thanks for joining us. we appreciate the details. let's head back to john berman. >> thanks, zoraida, the latest poll numbers show the presidential race is still locked in a dead heat. it's 47% to 46% in a new gallup poll. the president on top by a razor thin marger. even if you're not good at math, you know is really close. joining me is brad woodhouse for the democratic national committee and dana bash is here as well. brad, you've been shaking your head all morning as you've been sitting here off camera. we've been playing sound for the last 24 hours of democrats being asked, are you better off than four years ago.
are we better off today than four years ago? >> absolutely. joe biden does it it in short form. the truth is though that the american people know, we were literally a plane, the trajectory was towards the ground. he got the stick and pulled us up out of that decline. we were losing 800,000 jobs a month. americans i know have not forgotten, we gained 4.5 million jobs over the past two and a half years. so if you just put those side by side, clearly we're better off. however, we have a long way to go. >> just to be clear, the answer this morning from brad woodhouse is yes? >> yes. >> yesterday however from martin o'malley, a fairly well known governor of maryland, the answer was a little different. let's listen. >> can you honestly say that people are better off today than four years ago? >> no, but that's not the
question of this election. the question without a doubt we are not as well off as we were before george bush brought us the bush job losses, bush recession, bush deficits and series of desert wars charged for first time to the national credit card. >> so he says no, you say yes, is there a disagreement? >> what i do agree with him about, this is a question about where we go from here. last week in tampa, you didn't get any of that from republicans, what are you going to do? one of the biggest criticism about mitt romney's speech, didn't talk about what he would do. you will see that this week in char charlotte. the president will talk about where we were, where we've come and where we want to go. >> dana is itching to get a piece of this action. >> thank you. isn't this -- first of all, i want to say, this is clearly what you get when you bring the spokesman for the dnc on, you had an answer.
but why is it it took 24 hours to get that kind of answer? you would think the two leaders of the obama campaign would be able to answer that the way you just did. >> well, look, i think that they are articulated in broad form what i just said. that is that we really have moved the country forward. we have a long way to go. we don't want to be -- about this. we need to restore middle class security, that's what the president has worked on. we would be a lot farther down the road if republicans had work with the president and reached a deal on a grand bargain around debtor deficits or even if they adopted the jobs plan or portions of it. but i think we all agree, we've moved the country forward and we need to continue to do so. >> brad, i'm glad you're here. you're going to be the first to react to a brand-new video from the republicans out this morning. >> i can only imagine. >> that talks about president obama. >> filled with the truth. >> let's play the video so we
can get your first ever reaction. >> these are the steps that we must take. >> plenty of steps we can take -- >> right now. >> right now to start getting our economy on track and help create jobs and grow this economy. >> if we are going to deal dependence on foreign oil. recruit an army of new teachers and and make college affordable. make college for affordable. we have crumbling roads and bridges -- >> you have to give them credit for good video searches there. >> that's great. they have a wonderful research department over at the rnc. the truth is some of the things they pointed out there, the president has done. he has made college more affordable and taken out the middle man and reformed the college loan system. created 4.5 million jobs and promised to do something about health care and something on war and iraq. promise the opportunity to go after osama bin laden in
pakistan, he did it. he kept his promises. the republicans made a pledge. the other thing they didn't have in there, 2009 caption, the republicans, paul ryan was in this meeting, met on inauguration night in 2009 and plotted obstruction of the president's agenda. once they got control of the house in 2011, they are done that, obstructed anything on jobs and debt and deficits. paul ryan encouraged john boehner to walk away from a grand bargain -- >> when you play that sound together for four years ago versus today, it does leave the viewer with the feeling, we're still talking about these things and there hasn't been the progress in here that we wanted. >> well, look, these are issues that if you go back and look at some of the c-span footage from preef yusz conventions, we're talking about these issues in memorial. we made progress on issues. the republicans said they weren't going to help on jobs or debt and deficits or reach any
solutions because that would help the president. >> dana has been there in congress while this is going on. >> covering congress. but no, that leads to what we were thinking about as you were talking. going forward for this convention, it's a hard line to walk, right, in between touting the accomplishments that you believe you have made and realty which is people are still hurting. can you take us inside on how you are talking about messaging and walking that line? >> we're not going to be out there and be polyannish about it, like the economy is going gangbusters, people are facing real challenges and some of these challenges are it's taken a long time to climb out of a deep hole. and we need to talk about the future and the things that get the economy moving and debt and deficits and builds the foundation of this economy from the middle class out, not the top -- >> no mystery celebrity guest, right? >> no mystery celebrity guest.
no empty chairs. >> brad woodhouse, thanks for being here. came with a clear answer. yes, he says, we're better off than four years ago. >> absolutely. >> dana, great to see you back here. >> what does president obama think about clint eastwood's sh tick. he told usa today he wasn't offended. saying one thing about being president or running for president, if you're easily offendsed, you should probably choose another profession. and he also added by the way that eastwood is a great actor and even better director. if you want to know what it's really like to be inside a democratic national convention covering it, tomorrow you have to join the cnn election round table with wolf blitzer and the political team by submitting your questions and getting answers in real time in the cnn live virtual chat. don't miss the cnn election round table tomorrow. 12 noon eastern. log on to cnn.com/roundtable.
i'm going to do that right now, zoraida while we go back to you in new york. >> i was hoping you would share secrets via twitter or facebook. >> don't confuse the hotel moisturizer and conditioner because it really screws you up as you're walking out the door. >> we look forward to more. isaac is still flooding parts of the u.s. close to a week after it made landfall as a hurricane. the national's capital getting the action now. threat from the midwest to washington, d.c. and points north. it's coming up next.
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dose of what is left of isaac, so is d.c., washington has been getting hammered with heavy rain. alexandria steele has your travel forecast. >> good morning to you. a rough night in washington, d.c., especially around howard university and also around children's hospital, getting about 2 inches of rain in 20 minutes. coming down fast and furiously. much quieter now but warm, humid showers and thunderstorms erupting today as well. kind of very unsettled, unstable atmosphere. here's where the heaviest rain is. a wet day down through kentucky and mississippi, alabama and into georgia. heavy rain moving in and here also is where the potential for some severe weather will be maybe this afternoon and early tonight. a big picture in the northeast, new england beautiful labor day. if you're off hitting beaches, very warm and humid and incredibly muggy in the southeast and two pockets of severe weather to be mindful of.
maybe an isolated tornado, more hail and damaging winds, zoraida. >> alexandra, thank you very much. authorities in washington state are searching for the shooter who fired at cars and police officers in a town about 90 miles north of seattle. they are warning people to stay inside. a man was shot in the leg yesterday afternoon in the town of arlington. officers say they heard shots coming from the woods and called in the s.w.a.t. team when the s.w.a.t. team arrived on the scene, they took came under fire. tragedy this weekend at the air show in davenport, iowa, a plane crashed and exploded in front of thousands of spectators. the pilot of a high performance alba tros jet trainer was killed on impact after his plane nosedived into an al fall fa field. they are the ntsb is
investigating that crash. the belgiagian grand prix g off to a rough start. it was a really nasty wreck. you're looking at it there. but here's the good news. no drivers were injured. wow. our other top story, john berman is with the dnc in charlotte. good morning to you. >> that is some car crash there. especially when everything is going so smoothly here, i'm with soledad o'brien. >> we're going to this morning follow the breaking news out of pakistan, two americans injured after the car bomb exploded near the american consulate. we'll update you on what's happening there with a live report from the state department this morning. also, as you pointed out all morning, democrat's turn today. the big question that you guys have been talking about all
morning, are you better off now than four years ago? you'll remember it was martin o'malley, maryland democrat, who said no. and he's going to be joining us this morning. we'll talk to them about that no answer. also we'll look at ryan lizza's new article, "let's be friends" and focuses on the relationship between the former president bill clinton and current president barack obama and examines their friendship and pros and cons of the clinton factor. president clinton will speak at this convention. we're turning to martin o'malley, maryland congressman elijah cummings will be our guest as well. reince priebus will join us as they do the opposition message here. jim rogers, ceo of duke energy and co-chairman of the democratic national convention. he'll be joining us as well. and design gury, ty pennington, last week they built half a hour, this week the other half then they join them together.
our guest as well right at the top of the hour on "starting point." >> so much to talk about in the cnn grill, which is the hub of activity here any democratic national convention. >> at this hour. >> when we come back, we're going to talk more about what the democrats have planned and what they need to accomplish here in charlotte. stay with us. go away. i was spotting, but i had already gone through menopause. these symptoms may be nothing... but they could be early warning signs of a gynecologic cancer, such as cervical, ovarian, or uterine cancer. feeling bloated for no reason. that's what i remember. seeing my doctor probably saved my life. warning signs are not the same for everyone. if you think something's wrong... see your doctor. ask about gynecologic cancer. and get the inside knowledge.
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we are here at the cnn grill with an inside look at this week's democratic national convention. one question democrats are being pressed to answer, are americans better off now than they were four years ago? some of president obama's top advisers have flat-out struggled with the answer. a few minutes ago we got a clear
answer from brad woodhouse, who said yes we are better off. i'm joined by richard socarides and our friend christine romans is with us in new york right now. first, i want to talk sheer convention strategy. in no more than two sentences, preferly one, who do the democrats need to do this week, richard? >> i think the president has to tell people what the second term is going to be like and i think also we have to return to talk being about what ee leking mitt romney would be like, tax cuts for the rich, no economic plan. they are running a negative campaign. we're looking forward to what the next four years will be like. >> i'm going to hold off my question to you, richard teed up perfectly a new obama adjust released this morning. >> the middle class is carrying a heavy load in america. but mitt romney doesn't see it. under the romney plan, a middle class family will pay an average
of up to $2,000 more a year in taxes. while at the same time, giving multimillionaires like himself, a $250,000 tax cut. so romney hits the middle class harder and gives millionaires an even bigger break. is that the way forward for america? >> that ad refers to a study from the nonpartisan tax center policy which talks about the middle class and how they would be affected by mitt romney's tax and economic plans and gets to the issue of the middle class. who is the best candidate for the middle class. how would you respond? >> the biggest tax put on the middle class is through obama care. that's one of the stifling job -- one of the problems that jobs aren't being created. these employers can't afford to pay taxes or pay for the insurance for the employee. so they are simply not hiring. and at the end of the day, you can tax somebody into oblivion, there's not a enough money to
raise from taxes to pay for spending. the spending has to stop. >> you saw christine romans, let me bring you in. you've been showing a graph which shows where the national debt and growing deficit comes from. the biggest chunk of it or huge chunk of it were from tax cuts, right? >> if you look at the bush tax cuts, which are some debt hawks will tell you are the bush obama tax cuts because he did continue the tax cuts, the lost government revenue from those is a huge chunk of the national debt. other things as well, two wars and also a financial crisis, which really sapped revenue as well. when you look at taxes and taxes and what they've done to the economy, it's been pretty interesting to see -- it's both now, bush and obama have both had tax cuts now for the middle class. >> amy, you can make the case that tax cuts or increased taxes hurt economic growth but can't say it hasn't added to the
deficit? >> at the end of the day, like i said, you can tax everybody, all of the rich people, all of their money, it's not going to cover the spending, you have to stop the spending. president obama knew how important it was to cut the deficit. he said when he was campaigning in 2008, he would cut the deficit in half in his first term -- >> but again, and i'll go back to richard -- >> knew how important it was but did nothing about it and democratic controlled house and senate the first two years in office. >> cut into the deficit by letting the bush tax cuts expire on people making over 250,000. that is one way he has proposed to cut it. he tried to do that. last word. >> amy's economic plan is no more specific than governor romney's plan for the country. saying that obama care is a jobs killer and saying we're going to cut spending is not an economic plan. >> it is a jobs killer, it absolutely is. employers are not going to hire --
>> this gets me excited for this week. i'm so glad you're here. it's going to be an energetic and lively morning, which is a reason to come back and stay with us every morning. richard socarides and amy c r.e.r ee kremer, thanks for being with us. best advice is still to come. we hear from arne duncan. ence. like how a little oil from here can be such a big thing in an old friend's life. we discovered that by blending enhanced botanical oils into our food, we can help brighten an old dog's mind so he's up to his old tricks. it's just one way purina one is making the world a better place... one pet at a time. discover vibrant maturity and more at purinaone.com.
running the nation's public school, what's the best advice you ever received? >> that's a great question. the best advice i've received so much great advice from so many different mentors. the best advice is to follow your heart, to follow your passion and to surround yourself with people who will tell you the truth and tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. >> surround yourself by people who tell you the truth, what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. that's great advice in a political season. >> my foundest memories of him, we worked very hard, i tell you that. >> christine romans, thanks. 59 minutes past the hour. "starting point" with soledad o'brien starts right now. good morning, welcome, everybody, you're watching